Malta stagnates in global ranking index of perceived corruption

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Malta stagnates in global ranking index of perceived corruption

.Transparency International's latest rankings in its global list of perceived corruption reveals almost no change for Malta, but an improvement in scores among 25 countires. 

It rates countries on a scale from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), based on the perceptions of experts and businesspeople.

In all, 25 countries improved their CPI score, while 23 declined and 132 countries remained the same.

Malta's stagnating country score indicates that not enough is being done to fight corruption."

The best improvement in CPI score was registered by Armenia, which went up by 14 points.

Canada showed the steepest decline, sliding back eight points.

Malta scored 54 this year, one point higher than last year, ranking in 131st place on the list of 180 countries.

Times of Malta reported that in 2021, the island achieved its worst-ever result with a score of 53, marking a long-term decline of seven points since 2015.

It further quoted a spokesperson for The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, Transparency International's Malta contact point, who said the country's marginal improvement in the index score was no cause for celebration and that real improvement would be marked by Malta making and sustaining a bigger shift in the score.

"The one-point increase is not a reliable indicator of an improving situation on the ground. A change in any one of the data sources that feed into the Corruption Perceptions Index could result in a slightly higher score while the situation on the ground remains unchanged," the spokesperson said.

"To reliably conclude that things are improving, we would need to see a higher shift in Malta's score sustained for two or more consecutive years."

But the apparent lack of change in the CPI appears to be part of a global trend.

Transparency International said corruption levels had "stagnated worldwide" in the context of the COVID pandemic, noting that 131 countries had made no significant progress over the last decade and that 27 countries had reached a "historic low" CPI score.

"Respecting human rights is essential for controlling corruption because empowered citizens have the space to challenge injustice," it said in a statement.

"The global COVID-19 pandemic has also been used in many countries as an excuse to curtail basic freedoms and side-step important checks and balances. And, despite the increasing international momentum to end the abuse of anonymous shell companies, many high-scoring countries with relatively ‘clean' public sectors continue to enable transnational corruption."

The foundation said the index measures perceptions of corruption informed by direct and indirect experience.

"However, it is not an opinion poll that shows a simple snapshot at any one moment. The CPI is a composite indicator based on 13 external data sources and uses a methodology that has been adjusted and refined to allow comparison over time," the foundation said.

"Malta's stagnating country score indicates that not enough is being done to fight corruption."

It added that, in order to implement effective change, Malta must take action to address identified failures.

"The country needs to address the findings of the FATF assessment which led to the country's greylisting and to urgently address state failures and gaps in the systems that should protect fundamental rights," it added.

"The public inquiry into the circumstances of Daphne's assassination documented multiple institutional failures and identified the need to effectively address impunity, corruption and abuses of power and to create an enabling environment for journalism as key areas for reform.

"Pressure on the right to free speech, free assembly, free participation, and so on - whether this impacts activism, journalism or other ‘public watchdog' functions - limits the ability of groups to demand accountability and clears the way for abuse of power."


Denmark, Finland and New Zealand ranked at the top of the list with 88 points each while South Sudan was ranked bottom with 11 points.